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Parking on college campuses: Everybody talks about it, but Eastern Kentucky University has gone a step further with the recent opening of its first parking garage.

The four-level, 360-plus-space facility, located on the eastern periphery of campus behind the newly completed Science Building and near the Eastern Scholar House, was formally opened with a ribbon ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 11. Constructed with neither tax nor tuition dollars, it is part of the same public-private partnership that produced two new residence halls that opened on campus last fall.

The first level of the garage is pay-to-park: $2 per hour or $10 for all day (24 hours) with enforcement Monday through Friday but no enforcement on weekends. Levels 2-4 are employee and commuter only Monday-Friday, 2 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.

The facility also features two electric vehicle charging stations, convenient auto-pay kiosks, emergency call boxes and security cameras on each level, and all LED lighting.

The public-private partnership involved F2 Companies and Grand Campus Properties LLC, while Municipal Acquisitions arranged financing. The facility was designed by EOP Architects, and D.W. Wilburn Inc. served as general contractor.

The addition of the garage is part of an ongoing comprehensive campus revitalization designed to transform the living and learning experience of students. Also this month, a new dining hall, financed by Aramark, opens. Construction has begun on a new student recreation center, and renovations will begin soon on the student union, both financed by a student fee.